Sunday, February 11, 2018

Local Paper Blindly Supports Tax Bill


The local paper isn't exactly known for high quality standards when it comes to in-house editorials. However, their recent editorial touting the Republican tax plan shows an amazing lack of actual research into the subject, and appears to have been written on someone's coffee break.

Taking a jab at Democrats for failing to support the bill is apparently much easier than actually spending some time investigating what they wrote about.

Nearly every single respected, non-partisan economic score keeper and tax foundation has condemned the bill. The theory of trickle down economics didn't work when Reagan trotted it out and it's not going to work today.

Those big business tax savings won't be going to employees. As an example, a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch survey found that companies were most likely to pay down debt and buy up their own shares with their savings -- neither of which would help workers much. Other executives have indicated that they would use the money for dividends.

The economy is humming along just fine without the government having to step in. Though the United States has high statutory corporate tax rates, few companies pay high effective tax rates.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has found that 258 big corporations paid an average effective tax rate of just 21.2 percent in recent years, with 18 companies never paying federal income taxes during the time period studied.

There are indeed some goodies in the bill for the first few years, but those disappear fairly quickly, at least for most of us.

In 2019, the first full year that this bill would be law, the benefits are concentrated on the bottom of the income stream, with middle-class people, on average, paying just under ten per cent less in taxes than they would if the law weren’t passed.

With each passing year the benefits shift upward, toward the very wealthy. By 2021, those making between $20,000 and $30,000 a year are paying considerably more in taxes. Those between $30,000 and $200,000 see their benefit shrinking, and those making more start to see their taxes falling.

By 2027, every income level below $75,000 a year sees a tax increase, while everybody above that level sees a continued decrease, with the greatest cut in taxes going to those making more than a million dollars a year.

The tax plan will also add up to $2.2 trillion dollars to the national debt. Isn't it funny how the national debt is a problem for Republicans only when there's a Democrat in the Oval Office?

I was able to discover the data above with about 30 minutes' worth of Googling and reading. It actually took me longer to write this blog post than it did to find the low-down on the tax plan.

Obviously the editorial board at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph is more interested in cheap shots at liberals than they are in writing editorials with at least a rudimentary basis in fact. It seems that pandering to their base is of more importance to them than quality journalism.

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